5 Ways to Change Your Self Image

When it comes to lifting my own spirits, I have to force myself to do it. Growing up chronically shy with low self esteem makes it easy for me to beat down on myself, and in order to usher in a new age of self love and positivity, I have to pull myself up by the bootstraps and tell myself exactly what I need to hear, regardless how full of crap it seems.

We let the negatives get to us so much that we begin to walk around believing it. We believe we're untalented, ugly, unintelligent, or weak. We will never achieve anything so we might as well quit. We repeat these negative mantras to ourselves every day, allowing ourselves to fall apart and sink down to those levels.

But just think- if we can change our whole perspective on life with negative words, imagine how good the positive ones will feel. Imagine beating yourself up with kindness. I wouldn't mind being knocked upside the head with some compliments. Here are a few ways I try to get the point across to myself.

1. The Mirror Talk

If you look in the mirror and see fat, ugly or worthless, STOP. Shake it off, and look again. Smile at your reflection. Smiling not only brightens your face, but it makes you feel good too. We basically fake sleep to fall asleep, so putting on a smile should lead to real ones!

Don't scrutinize your imperfections; embrace them. Look closely at your eyes and observe the colors. Brush or style your hair in different directions to create something new. Grab some makeup and experiment with colors. Part of the reason we may be so tired of ourselves is because we haven't changed in a while. That sounds scary, but it's not. Change is growth, and when we grow, we blossom.

2. Shout It!

Most of our negative thoughts come directly from the subconscious, meaning that while we aren't actively thinking about our flaws, there's still a little voice in the back of our minds quietly reminding us that we're nothing. This can make it hard to simply "think" ourselves happy, as one thought tends to overlap the others. But what's louder than a thought? Our voices!

When your brain starts saying "You can't" just stand up and shout "I CAN!". Literally. Just start yelling out loud about how awesome and succesful and gorgeous you are. Hearing it can help cement it in your mind. If yelling is a bit out there for you, speaking it to yourself is ok.

3. Retrain Your Brain

 That little voice we talked about just before? Tell it to shutup.

Try and take notice every time intrusive thoughts cross your mind. When they do, stop it midsentence! If you wouldn't talk to your friends that way, don't let yourself talk to yourself that way.

 4. Write It Down

Journals, diaries, a blog... Just get it out there, in some form of permanence. You may notice a lot of these tips pertain to the senses. In order to truly absorb the message we need to get it from all angles- see it, hear it, feel, believe it.

Start out by writing out the negatives you feel in a column. Next, find a word that is the exact opposite of each of those words. This is your new mantra list. These are the words that will find their way to your subconscious and replace the negatives. Soon the little voice will be whispering lovely compliments in the background, making you more confident without any effort.

5. Love Yourself

Take the time to love yourself- body, mind and soul. Your physical appearance can affect how you percieve yourself in other ways. The pressure to look a certain way can weigh heavily on us, but it's not about looking the way others want you to look- it's about looking the way that makes you feel happy.

Read thoughtful books and sip cups of warm tea. Take long, luxurious bubble baths and exfoliate your skin. Wear tons of makeup or a little, buy a quality pair of jeans, and treat yourself to fresh gelato. Happiness comes from the little things we love, and when we take the time to love every little piece of ourselves, we can learn to love the whole.


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